A research helping Indian nationals obtain UK visas cheaper has been released by a think tank based in the UK. The research supports the call for a new, more economical visa regime encouraging Indian nationals to come to the UK.
The RCS showed that the UK was losing out. In the meantime, in 2016, neighbouring France attracted 185,000 more business visitors and tourists from India. RCS is the Royal Commonwealth Society.
Totally, the number of Indian nationals who visited the UK has been decreased by 1.73% in 2016. At the same time, the number of Indian nationals who visited France went up by 5.3%.
A decrease has been witnessed in the UK’s market share of Indian outbound tourists. The figures have more than halved going from 4.4% in 2006 to 1.9% in 2016. Just in 2016, 600,000 Indians visited France, which represents 185,000 more than the ones who visited the UK. The figures have been presented in the RCSai??i??s fact sheet. The sheet is called ai???Britain and India: Building a New Visa Partnershipai???. It was presented to British MPs earlier this month as part of its campaign. The campaign was launched in 2016. Its purpose is to adopt a new UK-India bilateral visa agreement which would considerably reduce the cost of tourist visas.
Agreement to help reduce visa costs
The proposed UK-India Visa Agreement would help reduce the cost of a two-year visa from 388 pounds to just 89 pounds. It would also allow travellers to make repeat visits within two years. This would mirror the reduced cost two-year multiple entry visa launched in January 2016. The 2016 visa was for visitors travelling both ways between the UK and China. The information was offered by the RCS in a statement.
According to the RCS, the CHOGM in April presents the ideal setting for an announcement of a new agreement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the CHOGM. The CHOGM is the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
A new bilateral visa agreement between UK and will enhance trade and tourism. It will also strengthen important business and cultural ties. This way, both the UK and India will be enabled to capitalize on future global opportunities. The information was given by Labour MP Virendra Sharma, who is backing the campaign.
Support for visa cost reduction plan
With the support of a number of organizations, the Royal Commonwealth Society produced the new fact sheet.
The initiative was strongly supported by the Indian industry. David Landsman said that Indian businesses, students and tourists already make a big contribution to the economy across the UK. David Landsman is the Chair, CII UK India Business Forum, and Executive Director, Tata Ltd.
Landsman declared: ai???The UK has the potential to benefit more from India’s world-beating growth. A strong balanced and fair visa partnership is an indispensable part of unlocking the potential for both countriesai???.
The RCS is based in London. It was founded in 1868 as a non-governmental organization (NGO) to promote the values of the Commonwealth.
It has been leading a campaign for a new UK-India visa agreement for a few years. The organization believes it would enhance trade and tourism, and strengthen important business and cultural ties between the two countries.